Woman still refers to man as “husband” years after he cheated and left her

Mary Duncan

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*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

If the man I were married to cheated on me and left me for a much younger and prettier woman, the choice word I would use for him wouldn’t be “husband” anymore.

Such is not the case for my friend Jody whose husband left her almost five years ago for a younger woman… Jody just won’t let go.

Even when he packed his bags and moved in with his mistress she thought it was just a mid-life crisis and he would be back in a matter of weeks or months at most when he realized what a mistake he had made.

When he and the mistress pooled their money and bought a house together in a city hours away from Jody, she still held out hope that he would somehow be miserable and decide to return to her.

Finally, a few months ago when she was served with divorce papers, I told her maybe it was time to let go of some of that hope because clearly he had let go of her.

Instead, Jody left the divorce papers on her kitchen table among a huge pile of other papers and bills to be lost and forgotten.

She won’t sign them.

“He’s my husband. He promised me he would take care of me for the rest of my life. I’m not signing them, and he can’t make me.”

It’s odd to me, because whenever she talks about him, she uses the word husband.

“My husband this, my husband that,” never ready to admit he may not be her ex-husband yet in the eyes of the law but certainly in the eyes of the world he is her ex.

Over the years, I’ve gently tried to tell her that continuing to call him her husband and believe he’s coming back is only going to hurt her more and more, because with the divorce papers coming it seems very much like he’d like to be someone else’s husband now.

Still, she insists on using the term husband when she speaks of him - she doesn’t even say his name.

My husband, she says.


But maybe not for long.

What do you think of her behavior?

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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